Boyle Heights tenants protest massive rent hike at apartment complex

BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The cost to rent an apartment in Southern California continues to rise and tenants at one apartment complex in Boyle Heights fought back on Wednesday.

More than 20 tenants said they received a letter from Crescent Canyon Management informing them that their rent would be increasing effective April 1.

"We're trying to understand how someone can go and deliver a notice for an $800 rent increase and then run away and hide and not talk about it," Elizabeth Blaney with the Los Angeles Tenants Union said.

Tenants also argued that needed repairs have been ignored and said nearly all of the units in the building need repairs. One tenant showed ABC7 video of a leaky roof. Although management worked on it this week, the tenant said the roof started leaking again.

Crescent Canyon Management told ABC7 that the property was purchased less than three months ago with a significant amount of deferred maintenance.

"Since the purchase, ownership has invested heavily in the building to focus on major repairs and capital improvements. We take maintenance very seriously and have responded to every concern raised by the tenants," the company said in part of a written statement.

While Crescent Canyon Management discussed maintenance issues, it didn't address questions over tenants' concerns of rent increases.

The property is not under rent control because it was built after 1978. State Assemblymember Richard Bloom recently introduced AB 1506, which would allow cities to propose ordinances for buildings to be rent controlled.

A new study by the firm Axiometrics found that the average cost to rent an apartment in Los Angeles County was nearly $2,300 a month, while in Orange County averages came in at more than $2,000 and the Inland Empire averaged just over $1,500.
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